How to Move a Grandfather Clock

Full article 11 min read
Move a Grandfather Clock
English antique tall pendulum long case clock known as grandfather clock for halls

Grandfather clocks are iconic symbols of timelessness and elegance. Known for their sweeping, curved case and intricate designs, grandfather clocks truly stand out as exquisite pieces of furniture. They also serve an important function in keeping accurate time, thanks to their precision mechanisms and flawless movement that keeps each clock ticking accurately.

Grandfather Clocks are often passed down through families and can be quite expensive. If you are lucky enough to have a grandfather clock in your home, you want to make sure you take the necessary precautions when moving it. Here are some tips on how to safely move a grandfather clock.

Gather all the Tools and Supplies

Before you begin, you’ll need to gather some supplies to help you safely move your grandfather clock. You’ll need:

  • Pair of Gloves or a Clean cloth for removing the parts.
  • A furniture dolly (Get a moving dolly at your local Home Depot. Renting a dolly from the home improvement store can cost up to 1000 dollars.)
  • An extra set of hands (a friend or family member)
  • Blankets or padding for protecting inside and outside parts of grandfather clocks.
  • Moving boxes to hold and transport parts.
  • Large crate to hold the outside of Grandfather’s clock.


Hire a Truck

All large, heavy furniture pieces like grandfather clocks are difficult to move on your own. Fortunately, you won’t need a big moving truck. In fact, you may probably manage to rent a small box truck with a loading ramp for the job. It is best to rent a truck or trailer for the day. To avoid any last-minute surprises, make sure to reserve your truck rental in advance.

See Also: How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Moving Truck?

Enlist Help from a Friend or Family Member

Grandfather clocks weigh between 100 and 200 pounds and need special handling when shifting them from one location to the next. Moving a grandfather clock is not a one-person job. To make sure your clock moves safely and without damage, enlist the help of a friend or family member who can lend you a hand during the move. Have them carefully follow your instructions as you guide them through each step to ensure that all parts are handled correctly. If you can’t locate free assistance, you’ll have to hire labor-only movers. You may do so by visiting the HireAHelper online marketplace to locate moving labor experts in your region.

See Also: How to Organize a Memorable Moving Away Party

Familiarize Yourself with the Grandfather Clock

If you’ve never moved a grandfather clock before, it’s important to take some time to familiarize yourself with all the parts and how they fit together. This will help make the moving process much easier and smoother. The pendulum is a component that swings back and forth to keep time and is one of the grandfather clock’s most delicate and essential parts. It’s important not to jar or jostle the pendulum during the move, as this can cause it to become damaged or dislodged, resulting in your clock no longer being able to keep accurate time.

Other essential parts of your grandfather’s clock include the clock face, weights and pulleys, and the finials. Protect these delicate parts by wrapping them carefully in blankets or padding them before moving your grandfather clock.


Remove Glass Panels

Some grandfather clocks feature glass panels, which can be removed for moving. If your clock has glass panels, it’s important to take extra care when removing them so as not to damage the glass or scratch the wood around it. Remove the clock’s side and front glass panels first, wearing gloves. To prevent these delicate panels from shattering during transit, they should be carefully wrapped in bubble wrap and/or additional padding. After you’ve carefully removed the panels and packed them away, make sure to cover any remaining exposed areas with protective padding to prevent any damage during the move.

Tie Cables or Chains to Prevent Tangling

If your grandfather clock has chains or cables, it’s important to tie them together before starting the move. This will help keep them from tangling during transit and make it difficult to reassemble your clock later on. Simply reach inside through the side panel and wind (or crank) the weights nearly to the top. Secure the wires or chains together with your hands, using either packing tape or a twist tie, and hold the ends in place.

Remove the Weights

Next, you’ll need to remove the weights from your grandfather clock. These can be found inside the clock on either side, and they help keep time by powering the pendulum. To remove the weights, first, disconnect them from the chains or cables. Then, gently pull them out through the side panels of the clock. As you remove the weights, Wrap any that have come off in bubble wrap or packing paper for protection. Each weight should be labeled with its assigned position inside the clock (for example, left, center, or right).


Remove the Pendulum

The next step is to remove the pendulum from your grandfather clock. This can be done by gently lifting it out of its slot and setting it aside. Pack the pendulum in bubble wrap or packing paper and carefully place it inside a box. As with the weights, be sure to label the pendulum so you’ll know where to put it back when it’s time to reassemble your clock.

Remove the Top of the Clock

Remove the top of the Grandfather Clock and carefully disassemble it. Wrap the clock face in bubble wrap and seal it with packing tape. Cover the top of the clock in bubble wrap.

Move the Grandfather Clock to the Truck

After you’ve packed away all of the component pieces, wrap the outer surface of the Grandfather Clock in the cushion, moving blankets, or bubble wrap. For further protection, it is recommended to use a large moving box with the top and bottom ends exposed, then slide it from the top of the Grandfather Clock to its center. It should keep the Grandfather Clock safe on all four sides. Cover all exposed areas, including the face, glass panels (if applicable), and weights.

Carefully place the grandfather clock upright on a furniture dolly. Be sure to secure the clock in place with rope or tie-downs before moving it to avoid accidents. If you don’t have a dolly, you can rent one from a truck rental company.

If you’re planning on transporting your grandfather clock in a rental truck, it’s important to pack it properly to avoid any damage during the move. You may want to secure the clock in place using ropes or tie-downs to avoid accidents. Once the clock is wrapped, place it in the truck on its side to prevent it from tipping over.



Grandfather clocks are beautiful pieces of furniture that can be a focal point in any room. However, they can also be quite large and heavy, making them difficult to move. With a little care and preparation, you can safely move your grandfather clock to its new home. If you’re planning on relocating your grandfather clock, follow these tips to make the move as safe and easy as possible. Happy Moving!

See Also: How to Move a Gazebo

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you move a grandfather clock without damaging it?

It is recommended to take a large moving box with both top and bottom ends open, then slide it from the top of the Grandfather Clock to its center for additional protection. On all four sides, this should keep the Grandfather Clock safe.

How much does it cost to move a grandfather clock?

Typically, sending your grandfather clock via peer-to-peer delivery services will cost between $300 and $1,300 or more, depending on the size, age, and value of your clock and any additional services required, such as packing or loading.


How heavy is a grandfather clock?

Grandfather clocks can vary in weight, but they are typically quite heavy, weighing between 100 and 220 pounds or more. It is important to be careful when moving a grandfather clock to avoid causing any damage.

See Also: How to Pack Heavy Items for Moving

How do you take the pendulum off a grandfather clock?

To remove the pendulum from your grandfather clock, gently lift it out of its slot and set it aside. Pack the pendulum in bubble wrap or packing paper and carefully place it inside a box. As with the weights, be sure to label the pendulum so you’ll know where to put it back when it’s time to reassemble your clock.


What is the difference between grandfather and grandmother clocks?

Grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks are both long case pendulum clocks, although grandfather clocks are generally taller than grandmother clocks, ranging from 6 to 7 feet tall, whereas grandmother clocks range from 5 to 6 feet tall.

Written by

Alex Sherr is the founder of My Long Distance Movers, a blog that provides moving information and resources for people who are relocating. He has more than two decades of experience in the moving and relocation industry, and he is passionate about helping people relocate smoothly and efficiently. When he's not writing or blogging, Alex enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.